Our research is generously funded by many different bodies including BBSRC. Why is it important? One set of answers is at the level of fundamental scientific understanding of human nature, and where the transmission of cultural information fits into the wider natural world. This essentially appeals to our scientific curiosity about ourselves, why we function as we do and more generally, how biological systems work.
The more practical and applied implications of this work are very diverse. They range from children’s education, to robotics (what is necessary to have one being copy another?), animal welfare, conservation and reintroduction (what is involved in relocating a culturally-dependent animal to a new environment) and medicine (as culture shapes genetics). Our discoveries are also frequently drawn upon by the media, such as the BBC Natural History and Units, producing programmes marketed around the world.